An electronic cigarette, more commonly known by its abbreviated name an “e-cigarette,” is a battery-powered smoking device that is often shaped like a standard cigarette. However, not all e-cigarettes are manufactured to look like standard cigarettes. Some may resemble cigars, pipes, pens, or even USB sticks. Thus, e-cigarettes may come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and may be sold under different names.

Unlike standard tobacco-filled cigarettes, e-cigarettes can also be used to take certain drugs in liquid form, such as marijuana, LSD, ketamine, and GHB. This is because e-cigarettes have a container attached to them that is intended to hold a chemical substance rather than pieces of tobacco leaves.

When one of these smoking devices is in use, the chemical substance added to it will heat up in its container and transform into a vapor that is then exhaled by a user like smoke from a regular cigarette. Hence, the other popular name for an e-cigarette, a vape or vape pen.

One other useful fact you should know about e-cigarettes is that they may or may not contain nicotine. While this may seem like an advantage, it does not necessarily mean that e-cigarettes are safe to use.

To learn more about how to file an e-cigarette lawsuit, you should contact a personal injury attorney in your area immediately for further legal guidance. Alternatively, if you would simply like to submit a complaint regarding an unexpected health or safety issue associated with a particular e-cigarette product, you can do so by using the Safety Reporting Portal on the website for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).

Are E-Cigarettes Safe?

As previously discussed, it is unclear as to whether or not e-cigarettes are safe for consumer use. Some studies claim that they may be safer than standard cigarettes. However, there have been genuine concerns regarding the kinds of ingredients being used to create the chemical substances that are turned into vapor and inhaled by persons using these smoking devices.

Although certain brands have been said to cause lung damage in teens, the newness of e-cigarette technology and its use have only led to speculation. As of 2021, some potential long-term side effects that have been predicted for users of e-cigarettes include respiratory problems, heart attacks, strokes, lung disease, infections, and issues related to reproduction.

Further research has suggested that there may also be toxins in the vapors being released and ingested, which could lead to the development of future health problems in users. Some of the toxins that have been found during such studies include nickel, tin, lead, and other cancer-inducing chemicals.

What are The Legal Issues Surrounding E-Cigarettes?

There are a number of legal issues surrounding e-cigarette products. For instance, some e-cigarette companies are being sued for developing packaging or creating marketing materials that seem to be targeting inappropriate demographics like teens and young children.

For example, an e-cigarette company may use candy-like flavors, neon colors, and cartoon logos to get kids to purchase them. This practice was already banned a long time ago for regular cigarettes.

Another legal issue surrounding e-cigarettes is the issue of negligence. A consumer who develops serious health problems as a result of using e-cigarettes may be able to recover damages for their injuries by filing a lawsuit based on a theory of negligence.

In general, a claim for negligence requires that an injured party prove that the defendant breached a duty that they owed to them, which in turn, caused them to suffer harm. Accordingly, by placing a dangerous or untested product in the stream of commerce to be sold to members of the general public, a manufacturer could potentially be held liable for such negligent conduct.

A major issue that frequently arises in connection with e-cigarette products is the fact that they are often sold with no warning labels or with warning labels that are insufficient. This can happen when a seller, distributor, and/or manufacturer advertises and sells an e-cigarette product to consumers either with an inadequate warning label or with no warning label at all. Manufacturers would be wise to warn of all potential dangers associated with e-cigarettes.

Finally, some legal issues surrounding e-cigarettes stem from consumer protection groups lobbying for stricter regulations on e-cigarette products. Aside from lobbying for more stringent consumer protection laws, some other types of consumer protection lawsuits that have started to arise include claims for false advertising and deceptive business practices. However, these two particular claims can often be difficult to gather evidence for and/or to prove.

What about E-Cigarette Battery Explosions

One particularly alarming health and safety concern that has been tied to e-cigarette products is the fact the battery systems in e-cigarette devices tend to explode. This is especially true in cases involving some of the earlier models of e-cigarette products. E-cigarette battery explosions have been likened to the explosion incidents resulting from smartphones, laptops, and/or other electronic devices.

Some of the potential injuries that can be caused by an exploding e-cigarette battery include the following:

  • Hand injuries if the device was in use at the time the battery exploded;
  • Injuries to facial features, such as a user’s eyes or mouth;
  • Serious burn injuries; and/or
  • Various other kinds of injuries one would expect to receive from a small-scale explosion.

As may be evident from the above information, exploding e-cigarette batteries are just one more threat to a consumer’s safety and health that can be added to the list of growing injuries. Additionally, e-cigarette battery explosions also pose legal risks for manufacturers of e-cigarette products or e-cigarette batteries.

What if an E-Cigarette Product is Defective?

If an e-cigarette product is found to be defective, then it may be possible to hold the manufacturer of that e-cigarette product liable for any injuries caused by the defect. Such lawsuits can arise when a large number of consumers are injured by an e-cigarette product that is sold or distributed with its defect still intact.

Aside from inadequate warning labels, another type of defect that may be revealed in an e-cigarette product is a defect in the device’s overall design. For example, if the way in which an e-cigarette device is designed makes it more likely to overheat or explode, then the creator or manufacturer could potentially be sued for any harm suffered as a result of these defects.

Another potential defect that could be revealed in an e-cigarette product is if there was a problem during the assembly of the device. This is known as a manufacturing defect. Manufacturing defects typically arise when a product is improperly built and thus normally occur at a manufacturing plant or factory. Hence, the name of the defect.

For example, if an e-cigarette device is put together in a manner that causes its shut-off feature to malfunction, then this could potentially lead to the creation of additional safety hazards like fires and/or explosions. This in turn would pose legal risks for a manufacturer. If a manufacturer is found to be liable for any injuries associated with such hazards, they may be ordered to pay a large compensatory damages award.

Should I Seek Legal Advice?

It may be in your best interest to hire a local class action lawyer immediately if you have started to develop serious health problems after using e-cigarettes. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to assess the facts of your case and can determine whether there is enough evidence to justify you filing an e-cigarettes lawsuit.

Your lawyer can also help you to initiate a class action lawsuit if there are lots of other consumers who have been injured by a particular brand of e-cigarette products. Alternatively, your lawyer will know if there is a pending class action lawsuit on e-cigarettes that you can join, and if so, can assist in the process for adding you to that matter as well.